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21 April 2014
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Catholic women from the republican Ardoyne area of north Belfast Image of Catholic women from Ardoyne

You're a Catholic and you've chosen not to send your children to Catholic schools but to integrated schools. Why have you sent them to integrated schools?

Because I think people need to change, people need to get this out and mix, because see at the end of the day when you put a group of children into a room, they're not going to turn round and ask each other 'Are you Catholic, are you Protestant?'. I mean younger children, like, I mean if they start them off young enough and they're all in the one room to play together, just like normal children play and fight together, little children. But I mean I think really at the end of the day get kids to see each other just for who they are and not what they are.

What do you feel that your community has to give up, and what do you feel maybe the loyalist, unionist community has to give up for this peace process to work?

I think take all the ringleaders from both sides, put them all somewhere where they can sit and fight it out because the majority of people just want to live, get on with their lives, rear their children, go to their work, come home and have a normal life - normal people as I would class them, not ones that's out just to intend to keep things going for another thirty years.

I honestly think the Protestant community, the loyalist community are living in the past. They need to move forward like we all have tried to for the past five / six years from the peace process started. I think we have tried to move forward but I honestly think they feel threatened, and I don't know why. I think it's because there are far more Catholics now than there ever was, we're getting the jobs, we're voting. We never had any of that and I think that the Protestant community are threatened by the Catholics that are up and coming. That's just the way things should have been from the very, very start. It's nothing that we shouldn't have had thirty years ago that we're having now.

I think a big step forward would be for the likes of the loyalist community to stop their marching. If they want to march and celebrate all that there, do it in their own community like the way we would do it. We don't go out and in through Protestant areas to hold people in, keep them in for the day while we walk up and down a street. What's all done in your own neighbourhood where nobody is getting annoyed, nobody is getting offended and it's all finished with on the day. Whereas theirs goes on for weeks, all different dates - causes more trouble than enough because of the fact that they want to walk down roads they've walked down hundreds of years ago which they can't possibly walk down anymore because of the trouble it causes.

And what would you suggest the Catholic community do?

At the end of the day, like, I mean I think they have done a lot with going into talks, trying their best. Really I don't know because I think they have done a lot but I just can't think at the minute what it is.







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